Missouri Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Satanic Temple Case

A lawyer for “Jane Doe” argued this week before the Missouri Supreme Court that Missouri law stating that “the life of each human being begins at conception,” along with a law requiring a woman to wait 72 hours before she can obtain an abortion, violate her religious beliefs. Doe had an abortion back in 2015, but seeks a ruling from Missouri’s highest court that her rights were violated when she was required to acknowledge receipt of a state-mandated packet about her upcoming abortion that included the statement about when life begins. She also seeks a ruling stating that having to wait 72 hours violates her right to autonomy over her body, an idea she claims is integral to her faith.

State Solicitor John Sauer, arguing for the state of Missouri in defense of the statute, said that the statement “life begins at conception” is not based upon religion. Moreover, he argued, there is no requirement that Doe agrees with the statement, or that she read it. She is only required to acknowledge receiving it. Doe has not alleged any specific act or refusal to act on her part that was motivated by religion in this case, he said.

The court took the matter under advisement and is expected to rule sometime this spring. Stay tuned for more regarding this case.